Let’s… Volunteer (At Work)!
Welcome back, everyone! We hope you had a great weekend and are ready to re-charge for an equally great week. Today, we’re here to discuss the benefits of volunteering – especially at work. Many of us, without even knowing it, are incentivized through corporate programs to volunteer and give back to our communities. Whether your company has a donation match policy or offers events to engage in volunteering amongst coworkers, find out how to best prepare here!
Look into Volunteering Opportunities
First and foremost, in order to participate in a volunteering event, you must evaluate your options! At many companies, designated platforms are formed to encourage employees to volunteer, engage in events, connect with one another, and monetarily support foundations they feel passionate about. First look into the ways in which you can maximize donations through matching programs or through certain non-profits that your employer partners with. If you’re unsure where to start, a corporate responsibility report is a great way to learn about your company’s history of “walking the walk” when it comes to giving back. Otherwise, ask your hiring manager, boss, or teammates as a great way to find out how others have engaged in this benefit and how you can do the same!
Prepare for your Event!
- Prepare: Preparing for a volunteer event is easy! Simply follow the steps below and you’re sure to have a smooth and enjoyable day. Always ensure that your work that day is complete and you are not sacrificing any deadlines as a result of the event. Even if this means working a bit more on the days prior, it’s key to be able to unplug and take advantage of your entire volunteering experience while there.
- Alert your team or take PTO! While volunteering events usually ladder into regular work hours, this may not always be the case! Check-in with your manager to set clear expectations of your absence and account for any required PTO hours.
- Dress the part: Additionally, remember that you are representing the company you work for at these events! Dressing appropriately, wearing closed-toed shoes (no logos or graphics!), and adhering to company policy as you would in the office are important at an offsite event. Make sure to be on the lookout for emails leading up to the event that will absolutely clarify dress expectations, whether, the activity you’re participating in, and if you should be wearing a company shirt.
- Bring a lunch, snacks, and water: The email that clarifies the dress code will likely also give you a list of what to bring and what to expect at the event. This may mean that water and snacks are provided or a full-catered luncheon! Whatever it is, it’s important to be prepared soo that you can last through the entire event without fatigue. Volunteering often looks like physical labor, so being fully energized and having food/water on hand is crucial to staying engaged.
- Organize transportation: Finally, don’t leave logistics until the morning of! If you are required to travel for the day, look into company shuttles, stipends, or modes of transportation. If not, find your most accessible route and coordinate with a coworker when able! Always allow for extra time and arrive early to get settled and excited.
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